NFL, YouTube TV agree to Sunday Ticket deal starting in 2023

If one thing has presented itself recently about the NFL’s media strategy, it’s obvious the league believes streaming is the future. 

Starting in 2023, YouTube TV will become the exclusive home of NFL Sunday Ticket. 

Google – YouTube’s parent company – will pay an average of $2 billion per year for the rights to carry the package, according to the Wall Street Journal. DirecTV currently pays an average of $1.5 billion per season for residential and commercial rights. 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the partnership will ‘usher in a new era of how fans across the United States watch and follow the NFL.’ 

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‘For a number of years we have been focused on increased digital distribution of our games and this partnership is yet another example of us looking towards the future and building the next generation of NFL fans,’ Goodell said in a statement announcing the deal.

Sunday Ticket will be available as an add-on package of YouTube TV and ‘standalone a-la-carte’ on YouTube Primetime Channels. 

‘As the ways fans enjoy NFL football evolve in a changing media landscape, partnerships with innovators like YouTube will ensure that more games are available to more fans,’ said New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who is also chairman of the NFL’s Media Committee. “This partnership will grow our game for future generations and allow them to follow their favorite sport.”

The league said in its announcement that it will work with YouTube to ensure Sunday Ticket’s accessibility in commercial establishments, such as bars and restaurants. That will provide the league roughly an additional $200 million annually, per the Wall Street Journal.  

For new users, YouTube TV has discounted offerings, but the average monthly price is $64.99. YouTube TV subscribers have had access to NFL Network and NFL Red Zone since 2020. 

During the most recent media rights deals secured by the NFL last year, the league brought in Amazon Prime Video to be the exclusive broadcaster of ‘Thursday Night Football.’ Additionally, the league had one international game this season air exclusively behind the ESPN+ paywall. 

Both Amazon and ESPN were involved in the bidding for Sunday Ticket.

NFL Sunday Ticket launched in 1994 as a way for fans to watch out-of-market games on Sunday afternoons (on CBS and Fox) and has always been carried by DirecTV satellite service. 

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY